Every business opens with the same initial goal – to be successful in their market space. What defines “success” is what will differ from company to company. While some may be happy with a small operation with just one location serving local customers, other business owners have bigger plans with hopes to eventually expand not just in different markets, but overseas into all new countries. Once you open your mind to overseas expansion, there really are no limits as to just how far the company can go.
Here we will be addressing that exact issue – expanding overseas. There are some extremely useful tips and steps you may want to take that will ensure the expansion not only proceeds quickly but successfully, so that the business can be up and running in no time.
Give Thought to Your Products/Services
Before you even take those initial steps to start the expansion process, it’s really important to give thought to your product and service offering. While they may be hitting all the right notes here at home, how will it translate and be received in an overseas market? Will it be in-demand, will it fill a need in the marketplace, who will be your target audience, and do you need to make any adjustments to your current line-up?
In order to answer these questions, you’ll need to do your fair share of market research, making sure you lift every stone and gather as much information as possible. This same information can then be applied to your marketing campaign, which will need to have a local approach.
What Sort of Infrastructure Will do You Need?
The next question to ask is what kind of infrastructure you will need in order to operate your business overseas. Will you need office space, factory space, warehouse space, or retail space? Think through all the logistics of what will be needed. Keep in mind that with a change in countries will come a change in culture, and even workplace infrastructure. What you consider office space here in the United States may not be the same overseas. You’ll need to get really specific on what exactly will be required.
Create Local Partnerships
This is also a great time to start forging local partnerships. This could be vendors, suppliers, investors, or others that can help your business to get off the ground and ensure the expansion is a smooth one.
In order to create these partnerships, it may be necessary for you to travel overseas to meet with various people in person, so you’ll need to be prepared for that reality. It just depends on the industry you’re in, and the partnerships you have your eyes on.
Staffing Will Play a Huge Role in the Process
One of the biggest obstacles you’ll need to get past is staffing. Clearly, you will need some local staff, which can be difficult when you’re not familiar with the hiring process and the local customs, and there can potentially be a language barrier to top it off. A global PEO company can be an excellent solution.
Described as an “international PEO and staffing solution”, New Horizons is both a consulting and corporate services firm that works with companies looking to expand in the incredibly exciting and expanding Asian market. The way the company works is that it looks after all the recruiting and hiring of employees, staffs your office/warehouse/factory for you with qualified personnel, and then even looks after the payroll.
Payroll can be another area that is difficult to wade into, as you need to be in tax compliance with that country, know what deductions come off the pay, and how to do it. Leaving all those issues for the local staffing firm just means you can focus on other tasks. You can read more about Global PEO here.
Will You be Relocating to Another Country?
It’s also a good idea to figure out what kind of owner you will be. Will you remain at the home offices, or will you be relocating? Perhaps you don’t plan on relocating; rather, you will just be making visits to the various global branches throughout the year. Your management style will need to be reflected along with your expectations, whether you are there in person or not.
Make Sure Your Packaging Adheres to the Local Market
If you plan on selling products, you also need to think about the packaging itself. It will need to meet all the local regulations in terms of labeling, so this may require some adjustments. Even as something as simple as the language used on the package will likely need changing.
At this point, your distribution, shipping, and transportation system should also be examined looking for any potential breakdowns or weak spots.
Readying Yourself for the Big Expansion
Gearing up to expand into an overseas market is a huge step in a business’s journey. Making sure you are well prepared and have thought of everything will ensure that it goes smoothly and quickly.